Ready, set, judge: Cannes Lions Health selects pharma and health & wellness juries

The Cannes Lions Health jury includes judges from around the world.

The Cannes Lions Health juries have been selected. Twenty-one judges will make up the two juries this year, with 10 agency executives on the pharma panel and 11 on the health & wellness panel.

Leading the pharma panel as president is June Laffey, executive creative director of McCann Health in Australia. The jury includes judges from around the world who will judge hundreds of entries—almost 600 entries were submitted in the pharma category last year—from large and small pharma brands. Pharma judges based in the U.S. include Debra Polkes, executive creative director at CDM; Kym White, global sector chair for health at Edelman; R. John Fidelino, executive creative director at InterbrandHealth; and Ritesh Patel, chief digital officer at Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide.

Patel said he was honored to have been chosen, adding, via email, “This will be my first one, so I am looking forward to seeing what the industry has to offer from the perspective of creativity, effectiveness, and overall emotional storytelling. While pills and efficacy are a very important part of the messaging," he noted, "pharma … needs to tell their story differently and more from a human perspective.”

Health and wellness is a separate and larger category—there were more than 2,000 submissions last year—that includes a broader swath of healthcare-related topics. Executive Festival director Louise Benson noted in a statement that both categories have been reviewed and clarified “to ensure that the criteria are more clearly defined” for entrants and judges this year.

“Lions Health juries are tasked with recognizing and awarding creativity in a highly regulated industry and we’re delighted to welcome this year’s juries to do just that,” she said.